Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Walking On, Walking On Broken Gla-a-aaass..."

Things have been par for the course around here lately. Last weekend my parents put up a giant pool in their backyard (above ground, but partially sunken). The whole family was there to help. Basically, that meant that the girls sat on blankets in the grass with the babies while the guys worked their tails off. :) Eli and Timothy and Cooper got to splash around in this tiny little pool my mom bought. They had a blast.

Life with Izzie, our new puppy, has been great. We think she's the best! Cody, on the other hand, does not share our opinions. :) He is mostly cordial to her, but if she gets near him while he is eating, he nips at her. He's broken the skin twice, and the second of these two times landed Izzie at the vet's office. She came home with 3 stiches. Poor baby. We're hoping we can get her through the rest of puppydom without any more wounds, because once she grows she'll probably be bigger than Cody, or at least faster. Injury aside, she's a really happy, playful little thing, but she's also really mellow. She goes from 90 to nothing in about 3 seconds flat. We like her lots!

Eli is doing well too. He's getting a few more teeth, though, so that renders him super-fussy on and off throughout the day, which renders Mommy super-frazzled by the time Daddy gets home. :) But fortunately he's still sleeping great and is, for the most part, still his normal, happy, high-energy self. Here are a few of his latest feats...

-Standing for long periods of time: He pulls up and then lets go and just stands there all by himself. It's the craziest thing to see, because he's all of 26 inches tall- should a kid so little be free-standing? :) I have yet to see steps- I don't think he even realizes that walking is possible. But still- I am super-impessed with his standing abilities!

-Words: He says "Mama" and "Dada" pretty frequently now, and just in the past week we've heard "Izzie" twice and "keys" once. These could be coincidental utterings of random sound, but they seemed purposeful to me. We were playing with Izzie both times he said "Izzie," and this morning when I handed him my keys to keep him occupied in his stroller, he took them and said, "keys." Coincidence? We shall see...

-Crawling: There is no escaping Eli now. He's got crawling down to an art.

-Getting into EVERYTHING: Enough said. I need to babyproof my house a little more. Geez!

I can't believe that Eli will be a year old in just a week and a half. I get teary just thinking about it. This Sunday we're attending a NICU reunion, which will be so meaningful, I'm sure.

"So what's with the title?" you may ask. Besides getting an annoying song stuck in my head, it is a description of our afternoon. While Eric was mowing the yard today, the mower kicked up a pebble from the garden path and shattered our glass door. Fortunately, it's double-paned, so we didn't have to rush out and buy a new one, but Eric spent a good hour and a half cleaning up all the shards of glass from the back porch. What an afternoon!

But if that's the worst I have to deal with this week, I'll take it. Life has been so full, so joyful lately. We're so thankful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things I Love

I love watching Eli bang on the glass door to "talk" to the dog.

I love hearing Eli babble on and on in his crib when he wakes up in the morning.

I love that whenever Eli is near water of any kind, be it lake, pond, or puddle, he does all he can to get all the way in. I love holding my soaking wet baby, because I know it means that he's having a great time.

I love seeing the pink little bottoms of Eli's feet as he crawls around.

I love seeing Eli sacked out in the car after a long, fun afternoon with family.

I love hearing Eli shout "Da-Da!"

And I will love seeing the look on Eli's face when Eric brings home our new PUPPY later this afternoon!

I love being Eli's mom. It can't be beat!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Guess who ate an entire container of pears today?

Eli, that's who!

Something clicked in Eli's head today, and he decided that he wanted to eat baby food! He ate a few bites this morning for breakfast and then finished the entire container tonight at dinner. This is the most he's ever eaten! And every single bite was taken willingly and eagerly. What an answer to prayer!!!

Of course, we don't know how long this will last or if it is just a one-time thing, so we are trying to be realistic about this step in the right direction. But, at the same time, we are really encouraged by this progress and are praying that Eli's newfound desire to eat baby food continues! Please keep praying- God is working!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tales from the Woods

This weekend our whole family (Bergstrom side) went camping. We do this twice a year- once in the spring and once in the fall. It's a little tough to get a baby packed and ready to be away for a long weeekend, but it's so worth it.

And isn't it ironic how a tiny baby needs 10 times more stuff than his two grown parents combined? Diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, baby food, clothes, clothes in case the original clothes get pooped on, clothes in case the back-up clothes get spit up on, clothes in case the back-up-back-up clothes get muddy or wet, pack-n-play, toys, blankets, jumparoo, bath seat, sound machine, baby monitor, burp cloths... Our trunk was packed so tightly with all of Eli's stuff that Eric and I could barely squeeze in the one duffle bag that we packed for ourselves! :)

Anyway, we made it, and it was a blast, despite the fact that almost everyone left. :) It was gorgeous on Thursday, but on Friday afternoon the rain started and never let up. Apparently it is difficult to keep 3 babies and a toddler happily entertained inside a tiny cabin for an entire afternoon. I think everyone was pretty frazzled after that, though Eric and I didn't know anything about it. We took a nap in the other cabin while my mom watched Eli for us. :) Anyway, by the time a rainy Saturday morning rolled around and the forecast was for rain, rain, and more rain, Phil and Kelly packed up Timothy and went home. Heather and Jonathan wanted to stay, but Jacey was pretty sick, so they left too.

My parents and Eric and Eli and I napped our way through the early afternoon as soon as everyone left, and we awoke to gorgeous, sunny weather! We were disssapointed that everyone left, but we thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our time. It was just good to relax and be away from "normal life" for a few days.

Eli did so well. He's slept great and loved walking, boating, swinging, and just playing outside. We were really proud of how well he did. But by this morning I think he had had it. He was so worn out, I think, by all the new sights and sounds, by being outside so much, etc., that I think he was just over-stimulated and stressed out. :) He'd be playing happily one minute and then screaming his little lungs out the next if you so much as looked at him wrong. :) It felt good to buckle him in his car seat and head for home.

And, oh, how I love the feeling of coming home. It was such a great weekend, and I am so thankful for the innumerable blessings of the Lord, of which my family is the very best gift of all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Two Steps Forward, One Step Back"

Ah, the old motto of the NICU. It is coming back to haunt us yet again. Just when I think lots of forward progress is being made, we encounter a little setback, and I get so discouraged.

Eli has been eating pretty well for the past two months. He ate decent amounts from each bottle and small amounts of baby food. This was huge progress for us, and we were so excited. But then in the past two weeks he's been going downhill. He only wants a little bit of each bottle, and he refuses to eat even a bite from a spoon. Just when our GI was starting to be pleased with Eli's growth and his feeding therapist was praising all his improvements, he took a step back.

I am so frustrated, and so tired of dealing with a kid with eating issues. I am so eager for this to be resolved. I am trying to remind myself that this is not the end of the world, that eventually we'll get all this figured out, that I have a ton to be thankful for... but this is just plain hard. I don't want to pretend otherwise.

We are praying so much that Eli begins to pick back up with his eating so that his good growth doesn't slow and so that a feeding tube does not become our only option. Will you join us in these prayers?

In all other ways, Eli is doing great. He is into everything- crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything, putting anything he can find into his mouth. He is incredibly happy, super sweet, and an amazingly good sleeper. Maybe he's regressed a little in his eating because he's been so focused on crawling and cruising. Or maybe it's his teeth, which are finally making their appearance. I am trying to focus on the positives and praise God for all the work He has done in Eli's life so far, even when feeding issues are just plain wearing me out.

We're going away this weekend with the whole family for our annual spring camping trip. I hope that it is refreshing and relaxing for all of us and that I can come back with renewed energy and patience to work with Eli on his eating. Maybe soon we'll take "two steps forward" in the eating area. Two steps forward and no steps back.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

11 Months

Dearest Eli,

On Thursday you will be 11 months old. I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that the tiny little baby I cradled in my arms in the NICU will be 1 year old in a matter of weeks. I praise God for the mighty works He has done in your life to get you where you are today. You are truly our little miracle.

Here are some fun facts about you at 11 months:

-You hate socks and shoes. I'll put them on you one minute and look back the next to find you ripping them off. Even when it is freezing cold outside and I can't stand the thought of your little toes being uncovered, you refuse to wear your socks. At least we'll be saving a small amount of money by not having to buy you footwear. :)

-You have your first 2 teeth! They just popped up yesterday, actually. You showed no indication that teething hurt or bothered you at all- you took it like a man! I have to be careful now when you gnaw on my fingers- you can do some damage with those sharp little teeth!

-You can "crawl." I put the word "crawl" in quotes because you don't have this one completely figured out yet, and, to be honest, I don't know that you ever will. :) You scoot, you do push-ups, you roll around, you sit up, you pull up... but a full-out crawl has yet to be seen. You are officially "mobile," though, and that's what counts, right? :) I think your main objective is to learn to walk, so crawling is just a tool in your arsenal now.
*Update: I thought you would bypass the official crawl in favor of scooting and walking, but this morning (April 8) you proved me wrong! You did the official "crawl" this morning, and I am so proud!*

-You haven't been weighed in a few weeks, but I am guessing you're at about 15.5# now. You feel heavier to me every day. While you are still very small for your age, everyone who meets you, doctors included, always rave about how healthy and bright you are. You'll catch up eventually. For now we're just enjoying our little guy!

-You make all kinds of sounds. There are certain sounds that you say many times during the day- I am wondering if they are your words for something in particular, and I just can't understand it. You say "mama" and "dada" on occasion (dada more frequently), and you say your middle name, "Dane," all the time, although I'm sure that's by accident. :)

-You love to bounce in your jump-a-roo, to be outside, to watch Baby Einstein, and to bang your toys on anything in sight and then promptly throw them on the ground. I pile your car seat high with toys whenever we go anywhere, and within 2 minutes you have tossed them all out. You think it is the most fun game to throw toys down and have someone pick them up for you, over and over again. (I don't find this quite as fun as you do.)

-You eat your bottles really well, but we're still struggling to get you to eat anything else. Some days you'll do really well and eat some peas or broccoli, and other days you refuse everything offered to you. We are still seeing Heather, our wonderful therapist, and we are praying like crazy that something just "clicks" in your brain that makes you want to eat!

-You are still an incredible sleeper. You sleep from 6pm until at least 7am every day, without a peep. I love to walk in to your room in the morning and find you standing in your crib waiting for me. I love hearing you "talk" to your stuffed animals as you fall asleep for your naps. I love kissing your cheeks as you sleep and praying that God will sing over you with His love.

-The words that I would use to describe you at this point are: sweet, stubborn, smart, energetic, and interactive.

Your daddy and I are over the moon for you, Eli. You are our baby boy- we love our little family of three. We love to watch you learn and grow every day, and we praise God for His faithfulness to you over the course of your life. He has carried you all the way.

I love you, my precious Eli!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Life as We Know It...

…has changed.

Socket covers purchased, breakable objects moved out of reach, floors free of any and all debris that might be picked up and promptly eaten...

Can you guess what happened in our house this week?

That's right, Eli is mobile!

He's been trying so hard for weeks now to master the art of crawling, and he is just now getting the hang of it. It's so cute to watch him try- he does "push-ups," rocks on his hands and knees, and even does the "downward dog" as he tries to get going. He can't go very far or very fast yet, but I have a feeling that it will be any minute now. Yesterday he figured out how to get from his tummy to sitting up, which of course is immediately followed by pulling up on whatever object is nearest, however unstable it may be. I am convinced that he will simply use crawling and sitting as tools to get quickly to walking, because walking is ALL he wants to do. Look out Wilson house… Eli is on the move.

I am so proud of my boy! He's come so far from the baby who, when placed on his tummy, would scream like we were laying him down on hot coals. :) I love watching Eli grow and learn- he is so much fun, always active, and the sweetest, softest little thing to cuddle. Being his mom is the greatest thing in the world. (Even if I have to sacrifice a few of my breakable decorations to his mobility.)